Anthony Padilla is leaving Smosh, the comedy group he formed 11 years ago as a YouTube channel with Ian Hecox when they were teens in the Sacramento suburbs.
Padilla plans to strike out on his own, but hasn’t divulged what exactly he will be pursuing in his solo career. Smosh, the top content brand of Defy Media, has generated more than 11 billion YouTube video views to date.
“I’m so sad to see this chapter of my life coming to a close, but I will continue to support Ian and wish nothing but the best for him and the brand we created together,” Padilla said in a statement. “As I begin this adventure, I am excited to return to a feeling that I felt many years ago: a rush of adrenaline following a new and exciting idea.”
Smosh in 2011 teamed up with Alloy Digital (which merged with Break Media to form Defy). Today, Smosh comprises seven total YouTube channels with over 40 million subscribers, including Smosh Games, which has more than 7 million subscribers.
I know, I know, you may not have been ready for that nostalgia, but even though I haven’t watched a Smosh video in years, as soon as I saw the news I felt compelled to pay a tribute to the comedy duo that brought me endless laughs in my elementary school days. I remember huddling around the computer watching their lip synch of the Pokemon theme song and all of us thinking it was literally the funniest thing ever. (While looking for it, I found out that it got removed for copyright infringement, but luckily I was able to find a copy of it. Also if as a kid you didn’t try pausing it at the right time around 3:07 when he’s in his underwear for a split second, you weren’t trying)
As of January 2017, the Smosh channel has more than 6 billion video views and 22 million subscribers, making it the 8th most subscribed channel on YouTube. Truly an astounding feat of longevity for a comedy duo who has been in the business for over 15 years.
People who are only familiar with Smosh’s recent stuff may not realize how much of an 800 pound gorilla Smosh used to be back in the day. For about a 3 year span, no other YouTube channel could even come close to touching Smosh’s popularity, they were the first kings of early YouTube, the pioneers of that niche brand of comedy that you tend to see YouTube stars nowadays replicating. Back then it didn’t seem so forced as it does now, they seemed like they were genuinely that way.
I’ll wrap this up with a couple of my favorite Smosh videos: